Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ships versus Canoes

Before European open ocean exploration began, Eastern Polynesia had been explored and settled.  More than three thousand years ago, the uninhabited islands of Samoa and Tonga were discovered by an ancient people.  Arriving in probably a few small groups, and living in isolation for centuries, they evolved distinctive physical and cultural traits.   Samoa and Tonga became the cradle of Polynesia, and the center of what is now Western Polynesia.

Changes in the primary power mode of the larger canoes of the Hawaiian Islands from sail to paddling, followed by a return to sail.  Fast forward to post-‘contact’ and the time of the Islands’ unification; a new style of boat was in the islands and Kamehameha started to acquire and build them.  The first Western-style vessel built in the Islands was the Beretane (1793.)  Encouraged by the success of this new type of vessel, others were built.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015


In the 1500s, Chief Piʻilani (“stairway to heaven”) unified West Maui and ruled in peace and prosperity.  His territory included the six West Maui bays, a place he frequented.  In this area, between that ahupuaʻa of Honokōwai and Honokeana, was Kahana (cutting or turning point,) another ahupuaʻa of the moku (district) of Kāʻanapali.

Historically Maui’s second largest industry, pineapple cultivation, had also played a large role in forming Maui’s modern day landscape. The pineapple industry began on Maui in 1890 with Dwight D Baldwin’s Haiku Fruit and Packing Company on the northeast side of the island.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Day in the Life

“June 29th. A busy day.  - - - -” In part, the sole entry for that day in Sybil Bingham’s journal (1820) helps to describe what life was like for the families of the early missionaries in Hawaiʻi.  The day started at 4 am ... it continued into the night, with no breaks.  The mission children were up then, too; in the early morning, the parents taught their children.

“We had one tin whale-oil lamp between us, with a single wick…. Soon after five we had breakfast.”  By 9 am, after accomplishing all domestic duties and schooling of the children, the wives would begin the instruction of the Hawaiian children – and taught them for six solid hours, occasionally running into the house to see that all was straight.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hot Spot

Hawaiʻi sits over a ‘hot spot,’ the Hawaiian hot spot.  It’s one hot spot, but lots of volcanoes have formed over it.  The Islands are above a moving sea floor of the North Pacific Ocean (the Pacific Ocean is mostly floored by a single tectonic plate known as the “Pacific Plate.”)

The plates move over the hot spot; it moves to the northwest.  As the plate moves away, the volcano stops erupting and a new one is formed in its place. With time, the volcanoes keep drifting westward and getting older relative to the one active volcano that is over the hot spot.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Martial Law 1895

Following the overthrow of the constitutional monarchy of Queen Liliʻuokalani on January 17, 1893, the Committee of Safety established the Provisional Government of Hawaiʻi as a temporary government until an assumed annexation by the US.  From January 6 to January 9, 1895, patriots of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the forces that had overthrown the government were engaged in a war that consisted of three battles on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi.

In response, President Sanford B Dole, on January 7, 1895 proclaimed martial law: “The right of the writ of habeas corpus is hereby suspended and Martial Law is instituted and established throughout the Island of Oahu, to continue until further notice, during which time, however, the Courts will continue in session and conduct ordinary business as usual, except as aforesaid.”  Martial law ended March 18, 1895.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Podmore Fire Control

Most folks call the Podmore Fire Control bunker the Lanikai Pillboxes; a misnomer.  The bunkers were built as an observation and command center for Battery Wailea and observation for Bellows Field.  Part of the defense of the facility was Battery Wailea, located at Wailea Point (at the dividing line between Waimanalo and Lanikai.)

Podmore, completed February 28, 1943 - named for a nearby triangulation station, observed for Battery Wailea. Initially armed with two mobile 155-mm guns (about 6-inches, that could send 96-lb projectiles 17,400-yds,) it was later replaced with two 5-inch guns (58-lb projectile, 10,000-yd range) (later supplemented with two 3-inch guns (15-lb projectile, 11,100-yd range.))

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Food Forest

It’s a forest managed to provide habitat and food for recovering endangered bird species.  The Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC) Discovery Forest is a project and part of Hawaiʻi Forest Institute’s (HFI) Mahalo ʻĀina: Give Back to the Forest Program.  KBCC is reestablishing self-sustaining populations of critically endangered Hawaiian birds in the wild.

The Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program breeds endangered Hawaiian birds in captivity, for release back into the wild.   The trees planted school groups are the beginning of a new native tree forest that will support the native bird species in the future.

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